What? The Marysville Schools Board of Education is proposing that for special events that school facilities can be rented out and allow the sale of alcohol? It is my professional belief that is a travesty to the long held values of the Marysville Schools educational climate.
Starting in the 1980’s, our school system received grants to train staff and support teaching of the dangers and prevention of addiction to have Safe and Drug Free Schools. IMPACT Teams were established and operated in our school buildings, K-12, to promote these programs, assisted by local law enforcement and counseling agencies. We even had support groups for students with family alcoholism problems
Alcohol is sold at adult venues for two purposes: either to make more money or attract adult patrons who don’t want to go to social events unless alcohol is served. This is sending a compromising, mixed message to our students. Yes, they are watching you…they are always watching adults…with the youthful disease of invincibility, they are ready to pounce on ideals and standards of behaviors when we adults do not set clear boundaries. Allowing the sale of alcohol on school grounds is sending the mixed message of “Well, don’t drink kids, but we adults are going to make some money off of drinking on school grounds.”
Most adults have no idea how many kids are abused and depend on the school to be their safe place in life as 75% of child abuse involves some form of intoxication. 25% of us have someone in our life with addiction.
My high school students asked me “What do I do when my intoxicated parent comes to pick me up from school?” “How am I going to make it through the summer OK when I can’t come to school to be safe?” Another high school senior boy in power lifting & football, comes to my classroom door, skipping out of his math class, asking me “Mrs. Streng, my dad is always drunk…how do I keep my mom safe? Please help me understand what is going on.”
And our school board now wants to profit from alcohol?
Are law enforcement folks now going to be expected, or hired, to keep things safe on these rented occasions on school grounds? This opens up the chance of intoxicated drivers leaving school grounds after these events.
This proposal coming before the school board of renting school space for alcohol fueled events is bad, bad, bad. It is in clear betrayal of teaching our students, who are our clients and should be the central focus of our school board and superintendent, that alcohol is needed for profit or even ever allowed on our hallowed school property.
Nancy P. Streng
Retired 20 Year Safe & Drug Free School Prevention Coordinator, Marysville Schools
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